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the pounds, shillings, and pence meaning of the word": and if there be an Englishman who can indeed believe as well as assert that we have reaped nothing but disgrace from our exertions in the war, the disgrace is upon himself, upon his heart, and bis understanding: he had no share in the counsels which led to our success, and it is his proper punisbment that he should have had no communion in the joy, no participation in the honours of the triumph.
The progress which manufactures had made on the continent was very litile understood while the war continued, and meantime our adventurers, in the eagerness of speculation, seemed to think it impossible that the markets which were open to them should ever be overstocked. Instead of cautiously proportioning the supply to the demand, they acted as if the demand would always keep pace with the supply. The more their gains, the more they were desirous of gaining; with them increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on : but unfortunately they reasoned, that as it was with the manufacturer so it would be with the consumer. Thus they converted their very prosperity into the means of ruin, increasing the quantity of produce by every possible improvement in mechanism, till machinery at length has come in competition with human labour, for which during the first part of the process its tendency had been to produce an increased demand. The multitudes who have been thrown upon the public are now to be fed, means for employing them are to be devised, and the recurrence of any similar calamity is, if possible, to be prevented. Nothing but a thorough reformation, moraland religious, of the labouring classes can accomplish this; sucha reformation asshallin its directand immediate consequencesimprove their physical condition, increasing their comforts as it increases their respectability, nothing shortof this can restore security. It is not the fault of this or of that administration, of any man or set of men, or of any preconcerted order of things, that such is now the condition of society; the evil has unavoidably arisen from the prevalence and extent of the manufacturing system; yet while we acknowledge the evil in all its magnitude and in all its bearings, we ought not to be unmindful of the good which that system has produced and the benefit wbich will eventually be derived from it. That system supplied the resources which enabled us to support the most arduous,the most necessary,and the most glorious war in which Great Britain ever was engaged, a war which has entitled her to the gratitude and admiration of all succeeding ages. And in its remoter consequences whatever diminishes the necessity for bodily labour will be a blessing to mankind. But when the evil has come upon us, when its presence is painfully and alarmingly felt, its causes distinctly perceived, and all its perilous tendency clearly apprehended, then indeed, if any means of remedy should be neglected, the neglect will be a sin for which all who are implicated in it will stand arraigned not alone before posterity, but at the most awsul of all tribunals !
If we compare the present disaffection with that of any former age, it will be apparent that the danger differs as much in kind as in degree. The party in the legislature who stand opposed to the measures of government were never at any time so little formidable either for talents or for their credit with the people. They staked their characters as statesmen upon the issue of the
and forfeited it both abroad and at home, now and for ever. They have neither leader, nor bond of union : and were the government even to drop in their hands, they would be found incapable of occupying it; for they have neither the confidence of ihe Sovereign, nor of the people, nor of each other. This, however, is the more alarming to the commonwealth. On all former occasions the discontented part of the public have looked to a party in the legislalure, and fixed their eyes upon the men by whom the change of measures which they desired was to be brought about : and the Opposition themselves have always till now been ready to assume the command of the ship whenever they could get on board, and unanimous in their opinion which course to steer. But in the present crisis they are as much at variance with each other as with the ministry: east and west are not more opposite to each other than those statesmen who supported Mr. Piit in the whole course of his foreign policy, and who have now supported the present government in those strong measures which were absosutely necessary for the public weal, are to the anacephalous Foxites. The ultra Whigs again hold these latter in utter contempt and hatred as moderates; and the thorough-paced revolutionist spares no effort to persuade the discontented part of the people that their superiors are their natural enemies, and to excite and exasperate them against all who are raised above them by the advantages of birth and fortune. The interests of the great," says the Examiner, ' are so far from being the same as those of the community, that they are in direct and necessary opposition to them ; their power is at the expense of our weakness; their riches of our poverty ; their pride of our degradation, their splendour of our wretchedness, their tyranny of our servitude.' Such are the doctrines and such the language which this convicted libeller sends into the pot-houses of manufacturing towns and of the remotest villages
The prospectus of Mr. Hone's Register is now before us. This man is the publisher of those irreligious parodies which have excited such just and general indignation; and since the abdication of King Cobbett, being ambitious of reigning in his stead, he adver
tises his unstamped two-penny farrago as being conducted upon the same principles. Numerous,' he says, have been the meetings, singularly wise are the resolutions and petitions passed at those meetings,-wonderful indeed has been the unanimity of the people. Numerous, and not less wise, or less unanimous, will those be which are about to follow. He talks of the blaze of intellect, the glorious light of knowledge so equally shining and generally diffused as the meetings for reform show it to be. But in what classes,' he asks, among whom is it that we witness this knowledge, this improvement of the understanding ? Is it among the nobles of the land, our hereditary guardians ? Do they manifest superior wisdom? Do they call public meeting3 ? Do they or any of them attend public meetings to instruct the people, and point out the road to good government, to independence, to happiness ? No, not they.--They call no meetings, they attend no meetings; they do all they can to prevent meetings. I'hey would have all quiet, quiet as death. They prove, as a wise man once said of them, that in knowledge they are an hundred years behind the state of society in which they live. By an unvaried and unqualified support of all the violent measures of ministers both at home and abroad, they have reduced the mass of the nation to a state of poverty, of dependence, of starvation : until alarmed for themselves, they have established soup kettles to dole out broth in scanty portions to the industrious people, who, but for their conduci. would have been living as became men, independent-minded men, from their own earnings. Mr. Hone will doubtless exempt one of our hereditary guardians from this indiscriminate and sweeping censure,-he will make honourable mention of the Norfolk meeting, and confer upon Lord Albemarle all the celebrity which the Reformist's Register and Weekly Commentary, conducted
upon principles of Mr. Cobbett, can bestow.
That nobleman has discovered, by the blaze of intellect and the glorious light of knowledge which illuminates such meetings, ihat
his Majesty's Ministers are engaged in plots and conspiracies themselves. He has discovered that Spence* was an old gentle
* The following notice respecting this man bas been transmitted to us from the Se. cretary of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne, through their very respectable President, Sir Jobn E. Swinburne.
Newcastle, Feb. 2311, 1817. • There did exist a Debating Club at Newcastle more than forty years ago, wbieta assumed the name of the Philosophical Society : they met in a school. Of this society, or club, Spence, then a Schoolmaster in Newcastle, was a member, and there produced his strange paper, which was beard with very little attention. Spence, however, got it printed and hawked about the town, as an Essay read at The Philosophical Society of Newcastle, upon which a respectable member of the club moved at the next meeting that Spence should be expelled, and he was onanimously
man who had been many years dead, and who was very mad when he was alive, and that the doctrines of the Spenceans are not dangerous, because of their palpable absurdity. Alas! there are times and places when even such speeches as those at the Norfolk meeting may be mischievous.
Another of Mr. Cobbelt's successors commenced his paper under the title of • The Republican;' but being told that it would be more generally read if the name were less explicit, he tells us that
he has complied with the wish of persons who are as firm to the cause as himself, and I assure the tyrant and the slave, he continues,that I will not swerve one jot from the principles I have begun with. Many other such. Successors to Mr. Cohbett have started up, all printing like him, upon unstamped paper, and like him, addressing themselves to the poor and ignorant part of the community, for the purpose of persuading them that all their miseries are occasioned by the government. The Stamp Office and the Attorney General are no doubt acquainted with this whole litter of libellers; but there is one circumstance relating to the incendiary whom they are ambitious to succeed, which is little known, and may possibly tend to open the eyes of some of his deluded followers.
About twelve months ago Cobbett began to reprint his Weekly expelled accordingly. He soon after removed from Newcastle, and was entirely lost sight of there. The period, (1775.) when this circumstance is stated to have taken place,--and the present Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle having only been established in 1793, sufficiently prove that Spence had no connexion with it; and our society having last month dismissed from his situation as their Librarian, Mr. Marshall, a printer of Gateshead, for having published the Political Litany, may serve as a proof, if any were wanting, that the Society are determined to adhere strictly to their fundamental Rule,- That Religion and Politics are prohibited subjects of discussion.'
We insert this notice because it seems to be the wish of the existing Society that it should thus be made public. But it must be apparent to them, and to every other person, that in simply stating where and in what manner Spence first promulgated his doctrines, no imputation was or could be intended against the Society to which be happened to belong.
Spence's name reminds us of the Monthly Magazine, and of what the worthy and witty Editor of that loyal and religious publication has said in reply to what he is pleased to call a dull but wicked article upon Parliamentary Reform,' in Ne last Number of the Quarterly Review. So we would have bim call it :
Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile,
Filths savour but themselves. This honourable Editor asserts that the Quarterly Review denies the necessity of Parliamentary Reform·because there exists a society of Spencean visionaries,' and because (in bis own words) we of the Monthly Mngazine named a book which was likely to satisfy the curiosity of our readers in regard to the views of those visionaries, though we purposely forvore to commend what we plainly admitted we did not understand.' That this Editor should deny his own words, does not surprise us; but ibat he should do it when any of his readers may convict him of falsehood, by turning back only to his last inonth's Number, is indeed being magnanimously mendacious. These were his words :–His pamphlet (Mr. Evans's) is written with considerable energy. We collect from it, thai the main object of the Society is a more equal occupation (not proprietorship) of land;--, principle which has so often been urged in the pages of this Magazine.'
Political Register at New-York,, with a letter in each Number addressed To the People of the United States in general, and his old English friends in that country in particular.?
Gratified,' he says, ' at perceiving that what I have dared to publish here (that is in England) appears to have assisted in causing many amongst you to see the character, conduct, and views of our government in their true light, I am by no means content with efforts confined within the limits of a press, whence to publish even in the most moderale language, truths disagreeable to men in power, exposes the publisher to punishment little short of death ; and I am the less disposed to this menial bondage, to this mere sighing under the terrors of the lash, when I see that there are many even amongst you, who still have a bankering likeness to ibis government, and some who bave the folly to hold it up as the bulwark of religion and liberty.'
His object, therefore, is to remove the error of those persons who are ignorant enough to think well of England, and to effect this, he describes the state of “abject slavery' to which the English are reduced,—' a people who are compelled to crouch to insolent Hanoverian soldiers, and some of whom in the very heart of Eng. land have been flogged by those Hanoverians. A nation,' he says of the English, who in their eagerness to enslave and entail slavery on other countries—who in their mischievous zeal for restoring tyranny and persecution in every country where they had been abolished, have plunged themselves into misery, and laid their own breasts bare to those very bayonets, for the employment of which against the breasts of others, they have so cheerfully paid.'-• What a shame is it,' he says, ' for any one to pretend to believe that there is any thing worthy of the name of public liberty, or of private property left in England! What base hypocrisy for any writer to affect to consider us in the light of a free nation!
The charges which this miscreant makes against his country are so absurd, as well as so atrocious, that their notorious falsehood would have exposed him to universal contempt in England. Thus he informs the Americans that the English government sent Buo. naparte back to France from Elba, because they were at once envious and fearful of the happiness and good fortune of France, where the ease, the comfort, the manners and the morals of the people, and in short every thing, had been improved by the revolution. Buonaparte's return was a premeditated scheme of the Enga lish government, and having let him loose, the Guelphs,' he says, • had the impudence to call him an usurper. He says that by chicanery we kept the French prisoners to rot in England, even at the expense of lives of Englishmen in France; and that 'tortures were inflicted upon these prisoners to make them enter into our service against their own country, at the very time that this govern